Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the symposium on innovative approaches to intimate partner violence hosted by The Center on Violence and Recovery, New York University. As I gather my notes and thoughts about this powerful “movement of change” happening at all levels in the field I am deeply humbled by the people I had the pleasure to meet and relate to during the two day event. I have resolved to describe it as a “family reunion” instead of a conference simply because the world “conference” not does surround the immense power of the connections and conversations that took place there.
Many of us had the experience of discovering we were not alone in our struggles against a system that is not working. We learned that many have put forth the effort to innovate and bring about positive change but are most often met with great resistance. It should not surprise us that from the bench and public policy to intervention and rehabilitation programs, there is a great opposition to changing what we know and can now prove is not working.
A dialogue has begun and it must continue. A dialogue of change, hope and promise that we can make things better for families, couples and children. The next wave of practice and innovative purpose is gaining force and will surly crest as long as we continue to contribute to the energy. This time the movement is not built on passionate and understandable anger over oppression or the poor treatment of one group of individuals by another. This momentum is built on a collective desire for change and justice for everyone. Perhaps for the first time in history we don’t have a moment that seeks to ostracize one group for the gains of another. We are compassionately seeking the ability to lift away the pain for everyone leaving no one, no color, no gender and no identity behind.
At the heart of this powerful assortment of people and their deep dedication to change is the desire to transform all of our lives for the better. Perhaps none of us have been entirely untouched by the heinous reality and variety of abuse. If not our own individual experience than perhaps our friends and loved ones have been the victims of some form of violence leaving its awful scars seen and unseen on our hearts and minds.
A familiar and powerful quote sums up the computation of this event and those who attended to the call of need for change.
“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margret Mead
A deep and hearfelt Thank You goes out to Linda Mills and her staff for the tradmendous effort and importance in bringing this group together. I am personally commited to nuturing this movement and will do whatever is necessary to see it continue. Our will is our force and I shall use mine to promote powerful and positive change at the core: for ourselves, our communities, our loved ones and families.